“Real life” running back value has plummeted over the past ten seasons. In 2005, according to NFL.com, three running backs were selected in the top five. From 2013-15, just two running backs were selected in the entire first round!
But every year, the first round of fantasy football drafts is peppered with running backs. Right now, Fantasy Football Calculator shows six running backs going in the first round of 12-team points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
Why the dichotomy?
Well, the league has figured out that running back is the position most dependent on others—namely the offensive line and quarterback. Other than a few studs, most of the league’s running backs are (relatively) replaceable. That, in turn, puts a premium on the top five-to-ten ball carriers in fantasy football. Because if you’re not a stud, you’re easily replaced.
So which guys will be top-five selections this season? My guess is as good as yours. Well, hopefully it’s better.
Let’s get into it!